Was I Crazy or Inspired? You Decide.

by Jan on July 18, 2011

“To Fall Down Is No Crime. To Lie There Is A Sin.”
– Jean Nidetch, Founder of Weight Watchers

These words changed my life.
It was 1967 and I had already lost almost 100 pounds with Weight Watchers. As I read Jean’s words in Parade magazine one Sunday morning, I knew there was something more for me to do with my life.

After my revelation, I walked into the living room and told my then-husband that I wanted to buy a Weight Watchers franchise. Without hesitation he said, “O.K.!”  What could have been a difficult decision was really very simple.

The beginning of a great adventure
We went to New York City for an interview; we were approved to purchase a franchise for Minnesota, which is exactly where I wanted to be – then and now!

We sold our house, borrowed money from my husband’s brother (for which I am forever grateful), and said good-bye to friends and family. Even though I had no business experience, something was pushing me out of the old life into a new one.

With our three children and dog Snoopy in the back of our aging station wagon, we set out for Minneapolis. We were excited to begin anew. We were also afraid we would not succeed. Weight Watchers was not well known in those long-ago days, so we were taking a big risk with our lives.

A good sign
We arrived on a typical snowy, cold December evening and checked into a local motel. The dog needed to be walked, so my husband took him out. On the frosty ground he found a brand new twenty-dollar bill. We had our answer. We would be all right. After all, there were possibilities just waiting for us to pick up.

HOPE crystallized for me
From the moment we arrived, we were welcomed and great opportunities presented themselves to us. It was then that the word HOPE crystallized as something real. It was a subtext of everything I talked about. We were hopeful and inspired as we aspired to do good work.

So I may fall down, but I will never lie there ever again. What Jean Nidetch said many years ago is as true then as it is today. Whenever something happens that knocks me down, I follow her advice. I pick myself up, brush myself off and start all over again.

So I ask you:
What do you do if something knocks you down?
How do you get through it and beyond it?
What gives you HOPE?